Three-CD retrospective from Meteor City's founders as they prepare to depart the label. The oversize custom package contains forty-five fully remastered tracks, including previously out-of-print material and a few new surprise
With a vibrant, versatile voice (sounding at times like an inspired mix of Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt) capable of adding subtle emotional shifts to slow-burning ballads or rocking out with the big boys, Susan Tedeschi burst on the scene at the close of the 1990s like a breath of fresh air in an era of prefab MTV teen idols. Like Raitt, Tedeschi works from a blues base, but she mixes in a strong sense of R&B and gospel, and with Back to the River, her second release for Verve Forecast, she shows that she's really starting to find herself as a songwriter, as well. Tedeschi wrote or co-wrote all but one of the 11 tracks here, and while one could still say these songs are based in her beloved blues, like Raitt, she has branched out from there to become a solid pop artist with a real and accessible vision, and the blues is just the engine under the hood. There are some wonderful moments here, including the big and funky title track, "Back to the River," which Tedeschi co-wrote with swamp pop master Tony Joe White, the sincere and solid "Learning the Hard Way," co-written with Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, and the impressive "Butterfly," which Tedeschi' co-wrote with her husband, Derek Trucks.
Back to the Egg is Paul McCartney's attempt to get back to rock & roll after the soft rock of London Town. Assembling a new lineup of Wings, McCartney leads the group through a set of his most undistinguished songs, ranging from the forced arena rock of "Old Siam, Sir" to the formulaic adult contemporary pap of "Arrow Through Me" – and those are two of the more memorable cuts on the record…
Back to the Grindstone was an excellent return to form from Ronnie Milsap and, not coincidentally, it was his last great record, as well as his last hit album. Throughout Back to the Grindstone, Milsap displays his talent for eclectic, soul-inflected R&B, tearing throug a gritty duet with Patti LaBelle on "Love Certified," covering "Since I Don't Have You" with heart, and then slipping into hard country with "Turn That Radio On." Not one of the 10 songs on the record is weak, and Milsap responds with a gutsy, powerful performance, easily making Back to the Grindstone one of his best albums.